Despite the x2 Ironman in 2 months recently, I’m not actually much of a racer. My race CV is slightly on the bare side… I’m guilty of a lot of training and little racing.
Doing a race 2 weeks after an Ironman is not something you will find to be recommended by anyone (apparently you should allocate 3-5 days recovery per hour racing… way more than 2 weeks!), however, I couldn’t resist the chance to try out the new Garmin Forerunner 645 Music, and run with a bunch of babes at The Great South Run.
I’m not totally stupid, I at least made the decision to take the day steady and do the race without racing. Lucky for me, I was in great company with Charlie (The Runner Beans) who was planning to run at around 9min mile pace (even though we averaged 8:27).
Running at a steady pace not only gave me the opportunity to chat the whole way around and not be in uncomfortable pain, it also meant I had a lot more time to look around and take in the beautiful scenery. We were pretty lucky with a seriously hot day for October (bad idea to wear leggings!), and it turns out that Portsmouth is rather beautiful!
As I mentioned, I’m not one for racing much at all, especially not shorter run races (anything shorter than a marathon is scary to me!), so a 10-mile race was a total novelty – a really great option for someone not quite ready for a half! The crowds were absolutely amazing, the course had around 3 water stations every 3 miles, and plenty of jelly baby stops!
It was really strange to let go of my competitive race-brain, but definitely opened my up to the idea of using races as training days and ways to get in longer runs.